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2 Singapore Polytechnic students linked to Jem/Westgate cluster test positive for COVID-19

2 Singapore Polytechnic students linked to Jem/Westgate cluster test positive for COVID-19

File photo of Singapore Polytechnic. (Image: Screengrab from Google Maps)

SINGAPORE: Two Singapore Polytechnic (SP) students linked to the Jem/Westgate COVID-19 cluster have tested positive for the coronavirus, the polytechnic said on Monday (May 24).

There are now eight COVID-19 cases among SP students.

The students - identified as Cases 63664 and 63665 -  are family members and household contacts who were last on campus on May 14.

One of the two cases is a second-year student who studies at the School of Chemical & Life Sciences. She had visited Westgate on May 8, May 10 and May 11.

The 19-year-old student developed a fever on May 18 and sought treatment the next day at a general practitioner clinic, where she was tested for COVID-19. 

As she had also been identified as a close contact of a case who was under investigation, she was placed on quarantine on May 22. She was tested for COVID-19 the next day, with the result coming back positive.

She was not infectious when she was last on campus, SP said in a statement.

READ: Jem, Westgate tenants brace themselves for higher costs amid mandatory two-week closure

The other new case is a 20-year-old Malaysian who is also a student from the School of Chemical & Life Sciences. She had visited Westgate on May 10.

She developed a fever in the evening after class on May 14, but did not seek medical treatment until May 19, when she went to a general practitioner clinic and was tested for COVID-19 there.

Similarly to Case 63664, she had been identified as a close contact of a case who was under investigation and also placed on quarantine on May 22. She was tested for COVID-19 on May 23, with the result coming back positive.

Serology test results for both cases are pending.

"As she was last on campus during her infectious period, her close contacts have been placed on quarantine," SP said in a statement.

The polytechnic added that the campus premises visited by the students have been cleaned and disinfected.

READ: 24 new community COVID-19 cases in Singapore; cleaner at SHN facility may be source of Jem/Westgate transmission

ALL PARTICIPANTS IN TESTING EXERCISE TEST NEGATIVE

SP also provided an update on the results of its COVID-19 swabbing exercise to test its students, staff and vendors. 

"All students, staff and vendors who participated in this exercise have tested negative. In view of this, there are currently no plans to extend testing to the rest of the SP community," the polytechnic said.

About 8,500 people were tested during the exercise that concluded on May 22. 

Singapore reported 24 new community COVID-19 cases on Monday, two of which are unlinked. There were also 12 imported cases, including five returning Singaporeans or permanent residents.

The Ministry of Health said on Monday that a cleaner who works at Park Avenue Rochester, a stay-home notice dedicated facility, may have been the source of infection of the Jem/Westgate cluster, said MOH.

Identified as Case 62933, the cleaner had been to Westgate on May 6. She was confirmed with COVID-19 on May 7.

The Jem/Westgate cluster now has 50 cases linked to it.

"Whole genome sequencing and phylogenetic analysis conducted by the National Public Health Laboratory have revealed that some of the visitors to Jem and Westgate have similar sequences to that of Case 62933," said MOH.

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Source: CNA/nh

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